HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A story with a horrific start is now reaping rewards for the family involved.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody traveled to Tampa on Thursday to present a Back the Blue Award to Corporal Mike Blair of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Blair and his wife Danyell adopted the son of a convicted killer after they met the young child in a hospital as he recovered from his own wounds.
Ronnie Oneal III caught the attention of the Tampa Bay area and the nation with his antics in court earlier last year as he insisted on acting as his own attorney in his double murder trial.
When it was over, jurors convicted Oneal of killing his girlfriend Kenyatta Barron and his daughter Ron’niveya, and of the attempted murder of his son, Ronnie.
“I think God put Danyell and Corporal Mike in your life and you, more importantly in theirs. You have been a blessing to them and I know because they’ve told me it’s been an honor for them to stand by your side after that hard night and helped you heal and he told me, this really big brave police officer told me, that you have made him even braver,” said Moody as she addressed the Blair Family.
Under a new state law, the Blair’s also received a one-time cash benefit for adopting little Ronnie.
The program presents law enforcement families $10,000 if they adopt a child, and $25,000 if they adopt a child with special needs.
The Blair’s received the larger benefit because Ronnie is still recovering from the wounds he received at the hands of his father on the night of the murders.
Corporal Blair thanked his wife and the rest of his family, calling them the true heroes for opening their home and their hearts to Ronnie.
“We hope to encourage others and we hope this story does encourage others to get involved in fostering and domestic adoption. We got a lot of kids out there,” said Blair.